Punk Band Bayside: How System of a Down Inspired Our New Album
Bayside's Anthony Raneri and Jack O'Shea recently dropped by the Loudwire studios to play some of their favorite riffs and explain how bands like System of a Down and Black Sabbath inspired their new album.
Like many, O'Shea gravitated to the guitar through a fellow classmate, realizing how much he loved music and finding a friend who could introduce him to the music he wanted to play.
"Back to the Future was out and all I wanted to do was play guitar," recalls O'Shea. "[My friend Kevin] was listening to stuff like Led Zeppelin and AC/DC and Metallica and Iron Maiden, so I started hanging out with him all the time and my parents were bummed. They were like, ‘You’re listening to this?’ All the Maiden stuff was harmonized leads and Metallica was blazing fast, and Megadeth. I was like, ‘I want to do this.’"
For Raneri, it was Nirvana that initially captured his ear, taking a lesson in order to learn "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Come as You Are." Both musicians laugh about wanting to play Metallica, but the speed being too much for a pre-teen to accomplish, while O'Shea joked about being psyched to play Iron Maiden's "Number of the Beast" intro, but unfortunately not mastering the solos at a young age.
Both musicians marvel over '80s guitar heroes like Randy Rhoads and Eddie Van Halen. "I like the guys who are technical but also make the guitar sing, the ones that can write those really catchy memorable riffs and solos and all that stuff," says Raneri, while O'Shea loves that Rhoads could take classic guitar and make it work within the metal framework.
The guys also point to their 2004 self-titled album as a turning point in their career, with the song "Montauk" doing it for them. "I think that’s when we started to introduce stuff. I think you can hear elements like the pre-solo section in ‘Montauk’ is one of those things where [Anthony] is playing the repeating descending part and I’m in kind of a linear line," says O'Shea. "That pre-solo section in ‘Montauk’ was like a big moment in Bayside history. It was like something that we finally found and was like, ‘Okay, we’re gonna do that for the next 20 years,'” adds Raneri.
They also describe the dual influence of Black Sabbath and System of a Down on "Prayers" from their new Interrobang album.
"That song, 'Prayers' -- its working title was 'System Sabbath.' There were parts of it that felt really sludgy and kind of Black Sabbathy when we were demoing it," O'Shea explains before launching into the System-inspired riff. "Yeah, that's pretty System of a Down, we thought at the time. I think we're lucky to have a very wide range of influences."
“I think we’re very lucky to have a wide range of influences from metal to Spanish music to show tunes to anything. All these influences mesh together to sound like Bayside,” says Raneri.
The Best Emo Song of Every Year Since 1998